Going Postal

Richard Coyle as Moist von Lipwig

If you live in the wonderful Australia, some of you might have recently seen Sky One’s adaption of Terry Pratchett’s, Going Postal on ABC TV.  Of course, I’m not sure how many people still watch ABC regularly so perhaps no one saw it except my Grandma and other people her age.  Either way, it was awesome!  Hence, I went out and bought the actual book.  Now the most I’ve read of Terry Pratchett’s novels is a few pages years ago but I remember liking his style and I can’t think what made me not finish the book.

If you haven’t read anything by Pratchett, think Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events).  There’s that same wit and humour woven into the narration.  Take, for instance, the name of the female lead.  Adora Bell Dearheart.  I love it.  I so delightfully quirky.  My favourite character though, is the executioner who introduces himself as follows.

“‘Good morning, Mr Spangler.’  He raised the hood helpfully.  ‘It’s me, sir, Daniel “One Drop” Trooper.  I am your executioner for today, sir.  Don’t you worry, sir.  I’ve hanged dozens of people.  We’ll soon have you out of here.’”

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

How can you not love a character like that?  I also particularly like the ‘Introducing Discworld’ paragraph that describes the Discworld series as “a continuous history of a world not totally unlike our own except that it is a flat disc carried on the backs of four elephants astride a giant turtle floating through space.”

Basically, Moist von Lipwig, a criminal, is given a choice between death and reopening the old Post Office.  Doesn’t seem to bad except they never chucked out any of the letters after they closed down.  They kept them all.  All billion or so.  And then there’s the clacks machines which send messages so much faster – when they’re working.  But naturally their owner doesn’t want Moist creating any competition.  And it goes from there as Moist tries to plan an escape while getting the Post Office so that he isn’t sent back to the executioner before he has time to actually enact a successful escape.

Good story, good writing, good characters.  Funny quirks on things in our own world.  They invent stamps.  It’s revolutionising.  And good adaption to film by Sky One.

Moist von Lipwig is a con artist…

…and a fraud and a man faced with a life choice: be hanged, or put Ankh-Morpork’s ailing postal service back on its feet.

It’s a tough decision.

But he’s got to see that the mail gets through, come rain, hail, sleet, dogs, the Post Office Workers’ Friendly and Benevolent Society, the evil chairman of the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company, and a midnight killer.

Getting a date with Adora Bell Dearheart would be nice, too.

This hasn’t been a particularly detailed review.  I just wanted to tell you about this book, really.  But I do give it 4/5, whatever that means.

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About Captain Amanda

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a captain on her ship. She did not know how to sail and there was no crew but that didn't matter because she was telekinetic. She just pushed the ship along with her mind. Sometimes, though, she would sail into stormy weather and lose control. That's when she would tie herself to the mast - because a captain always goes down with her ship. It never happened though. The ship and its captain would always emerge, bedraggled, from the storm and the dark clouds would fade into the distance until they disappeared entirely. Then the captain would untie herself from the mast and walk from the prow to the stern of her ship. She would peer in every direction as far as she could see and she would think that from this distance, everything was so bloody perfect. View all posts by Captain Amanda

2 responses to “Going Postal

  • Sas

    Oooh! I totally watched this some time last year (can’t really remember when…) but it was awesome. I think I actually missed the ending, which sucked, but it was good from what I saw. I think I’d like to read these, but I’d have to start from the start because I think it would feel weird otherwise – although I do believe they can be read out of order.

  • Alison Weathers

    Telly version was brilliant but the book is even better!

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